Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Effectiveness of the international community’s statements on the Crimean issue

On March 13, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives approved four documents condemning the Kremlin's policy. In particular, the congressmen banned the United States government to recognize either legally or de facto annexation of the Crimea. They also placed responsibility on President Putin's regime for the death of Boris Nemtsov. If the documents approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate, they will be submitted to the President of the United States for signature.

One of the adopted documents was the "Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act". It consists of only two pages and prohibits U.S. government agencies from taking any action or providing any assistance that would recognize Crimea as Russian territory. "It is the policy of the United States not to recognize de jure or de facto the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its airspace or its territorial waters," the document says. At the same time, it was noted that the US President in some cases may violate this provision if it is extremely important for the interests of the national security of the United States. The document was supported by the congressmen by an overwhelming majority of votes.

The congressmen demonstrated the same unity by adopting a resolution that called for bringing to justice those responsible for the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and conducting a fair investigation of this case. The document calls on the US government to raise the issue of Nemtsov's murder and to bring to justice persons who ordered the murder in any negotiations with the Russian authorities. The resolution calls on Russia to allow an international investigation of this crime, in cooperation with the OSCE and PACE. The Russian leadership rejects any accusations of the Kremlin's involvement in the death of Boris Nemtsov.

The third document adopted by the House of Representatives is the draft law " Vladimir Putin Transparency Act ". According to the document, the American intelligence can collect data about Putin's assets and his entourage. Members of the House proposed to oblige the US national intelligence, together with the Secretary of State and the Minister of Finance to prepare a report on the financial condition of the Russian President. The document should contain data on Putin's assets, in particular the companies, which he can use to hide his assets. The Kremlin earlier called the initiative as "Russophobic attempts". Another bill, the «Kremlin Act» was presented by Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi. The document requires the National Intelligence of the USA to prepare three reports containing an assessment of the intentions of the political leadership of Russia. The documents should assess possible threats from Russia to the United States and NATO allies. In particular, intelligence should exploreinvestigate how Moscow can create grounds for disputes between the United States and its allies.[1]

Russia believes that the document "Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act" will not have any real consequences. This was stated by the Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev on his Facebook page, writes "Slovo i Dilo" on Wednesday, March 13. "The approval by the House of Representatives of the bill by the U.S. Congress, which prohibits the United States to recognize Crimea as Russian, of course, will have no consequences for the real status of Crimea, nor for the international situation around it. But this goal was not pursued. After all, most of the acts of American legislators on Russia is adopted exclusively for internal use,"5 Kosachev said, reports "". According to "" he is convinced that " if Congress has to specifically prohibit the recognition of Crimea as Russian, it means that, firstly, they do not consider such a probability hypothetical and secondly they are aware that Crimea can be considered Ukrainian only in senseless acts, and not in practice."[2]

Already on 15 March there was a special meeting of the UN Security Council on the theme: "A symbolic date: Fifth anniversary of the beginning of Russia's occupation of Crimea: A blatant violation of international law”. The international community recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia's actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions. Russia denies the occupation of the peninsula and calls it "the restoration of historical justice." The representative of Ukraine proposed to deprive Russia of the right to veto in the UN Security Council discussion of issues related to Russian aggression against Ukraine. This statement was made by Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Sergiy Kyslytsya at a special meeting of the UN security Council devoted to the 5th anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea. In his speech, Kyslytsya quoted the words of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko that "it is time for Russia to be put in place." He said that the less resistance is committed against Russia, the more it departs from the international system of rights and norms. [3]

The issue of Ukraine's lawsuits against Russia is very poorly covered by the Ukrainian side. None of them is at the final stage, almost all at the initial stage – the elaboration of the positions of the parties. Because of this, we have successfully completed lawsuits of only a few companies. This was written in the blog of a diplomat, former Consul General of Ukraine in Istanbul, Chairman of the Charitable Foundation "Maidan of foreign Affairs" Bohdan Yaremenko, wrote the edition " Slovo i Dilo. "Ukrainian lawsuits are quite complicated, because the first two are very technical and it will be difficult for us to prove our case, he said. There are two ways to return Crimea – military operation and negotiations, or a combination of these two. "Is there really such a possibility? Not today, but it does not mean that there is no work to approximate and create such an opportunity. The problem is that the authorities have no strategy for the return of Crimea and do not understand what and how it does» 7, - the diplomat noted, as reports "Slovo i Dilo ".

«On the one hand, a certain policy is allegedly carried out regarding the occupied territory. On the other hand, the occupation is not recognized. Besides, we are signing an Agreement with the occupiers on the allocation of quotas for fishing, including in the waters and those companies that were stolen from us by the Russians after the occupation of the Crimea», - the expert argues, according to "Slovo i Dilo". There is not even a sequence in the perception of occupation, therefore, all this is slowly moving forward, said Yaremenko. The expert stressed that it is necessary to create a crisis management institutions, which would deal with the problems of the Crimea in Ukraine. He added that there is only partially progress, because we have lost a representative body that defended the interests of the Crimeans. No analogue of the Supreme Council of Crimea has been created. «Second, what has to be done it is an information propaganda campaign that will not allow Crimea to disappear from the agenda. The world community should at least be engaged in some form in the situation and it is possible by appealing to human rights in the Crimea and appealing to the problem of militarization of the Crimea»7, - Yademenko is convinced, reports "Slovo i Dilo". Here Ukraine behaves very inconsistently and the minimum is done in this direction. "In Ukrainian society there is no doubt that Crimea is Ukraine. There is doubt that it can be returned, due to the lack of a specific return program on the part of the government. People do not see any activity, and therefore do not believe that this can happen. In fact-it is a long process, but real. I think, in the end, Crimea will return to Ukraine", - summed up Bogdan Yaremenko, according to "Slovo i Dilo".[4]

Therefore, we can conclude that the struggle for the return of Crimea to Ukraine is still ongoing. Thus, the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea by Russia once again highlighted the firm position of our Western friends, however, it remains an open question how much more time it is necessary to wait for the de-occupation of Crimea. Only one remains unchanged-due to the fact that Russia continues to stand its ground, it is necessary to continue to put pressure on Russia.